Beetroot is a herbaceous plant from which fleshy roots with a vaguely sweet taste are obtained. In this family of vegetables 2 large groups must be distinguished; the "leaf" one (which provides chard or ribs and herbs or beets to be cut) and the root one which gives, in fact, fleshy roots, with a sweetish flavor. These are divided into "sugary beets" (from which sugar is obtained) and "red beets" (or improperly red turnips), characteristic for their globular shape, with purplish skin and pulp.
The best beetroot roots are medium-sized, with a soft, fine and compact pulp, a reddish purple color, without light veins. As well as boiled and seasoned with oil and vinegar, they can be sautéed in a pan with oil and garlic, baked au gratin with bechamel sauce, served with bagna càôda or, always in salads, combined with other vegetables, especially potatoes. In this case, since they easily lose their color, it is good to add them at the last moment. They are sold already cooked, even in the oven.